Roberto Soriano scored two goals and assisted another, while Aaron Hickey got a standing ovation on his Bologna debut, beating local rivals Parma 4-1.
The Emilia-Romagna Derby was the occasion for Hickey to receive his Serie A debut, stepping in for suspended Mitchell Dijks, while Andreas Skov Olsen was chosen rather than Riccardo Orsolini. The Ducali missed Andreas Cornelius, Roberto Inglese and Alberto Grassi, so transformed their front line with Gervinho and Yann Karamoh.
Takehiro Tomiyasu had to make a decisive block on Gervinho in the opening minute, then Lukasz Skorupski had to be at full stretch to fingertip Gaston Brugman’s header out from under the bar.
Hickey burst into the box between two defenders down the left, went down shoulder-to-shoulder with Vincent Laurini, but the referee waved play on.
After the initial flurry, it was instead Bologna who broke the deadlock when Danilo flicked on a corner for Roberto Soriano’s header at the back post. Luigi Sepe did all he could, but made the save only after the ball had crossed the line.
Parma vanished from the match entirely after that goal, as Bologna put together a series of corners, then doubled their lead with a slightly deflected Soriano curler into the top corner from the edge of the box.
Karamoh tried to threaten, Tomiyasu with a crucial block just about managing to avoid a handball when down on the ground, while Jacopo Dezi couldn’t finish a Gervinho pull-back from the by-line.
Bologna made it 3-0 with Soriano again involved, as he sauntered forward and waited for the right moment to roll across so Skov Olsen only had to sweep it in first time.
The Rossoblu were in total control, but this is a team that has now conceded in 35 consecutive Serie A games, so of course a clean sheet was too much to ask. Lukasz Skorupski’s terrible pass was straight at Brugman, who immediately threaded through for Hernani to spring the offside trap and score.
There was controversy on 76 minutes when Palacio ran on to a Barrow pass and was clear on goal, falling under a nudge from Simone Iacoponi. The referee awarded a penalty and sent Iacoponi off, but VAR pointed out the foul was outside the box, so the decision was changed, but not the card.
Hickey was given a standing ovation by the Stadio Dall’Ara crowd of 1,000 on his Serie A debut. It was almost 4-1, Nicola Sansone sent through by another Soriano assist, but Sepe used his legs to parry.
There was time for a fourth in stoppages, as Dermaku got into a muddle trying to play his way out from the back, allowing Bologna to pounce and Palacio blasted his finish into the near top corner.
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Sent off: Iacoponi 76 (P)